GuelphToday has received the following letter to the editor from two Guelph residents whose thoughts were provoked by a recent presentation about proportional representation.
Yesterday evening (30 March 2017) we attended an event at the Guelph Civic Museum to hear a debate about proportional representation, which the Liberals committed to during the last federal election., and which Mr. Trudeau has now decided is not a good idea. The event filled the second floor room at the museum with more than 100 people. We all hoped to hear a vigorous discussion between our MP, Lloyd Longfield, and Nathan Cullen, but were disappointed to find out that Mr. Longfield was absent.
Nevertheless, there was a brilliant presentation by Mr. Cullen of the undemocratic results of the present (archaic) method of selecting representatives to Parliament. This was followed by group discussions about how to change the system to correspond to what the people of Canada want. Because of our present system, we have voted strategically in the past, even though those votes did not correspond to our own convictions, and thus in a sense were wasted votes. Many people fail to vote or throw their votes away because they know that the present system will not result in a Parliament which represents them.
Bringing in proportional representation was the right campaign promise for the Liberals to have made, but now, having a majority, the Party has made the callous decision to stick with the old undemocratic system, which produces a majority government from a minority vote. This is not right. And many of the Mr. Longfield's constituents hold that opinion. Many, including many young people, voted Liberal because of the election reform promise. Now they are disappointed and many have signed petitions in favor of proportional representation.
A member of parliament represents his or her constituency in Parliament, and this constituency favours proportional representation. Even if the Prime Minister and his cabinet have decided to break that election promise, it is up to Mr. Longfield to represent us in this matter in Parliament. We hope that he will stand with those in Parliament in favor of election reform when it comes time to vote.